Below is an alphabetical listing of SLIS policies and procedures. When applicable, the download of a form is available directly from the policy statement.

View the full Policy Manual.

If you have any questions not covered in this listing, please email for assistance.


Graduate students are permitted to change course registrations without financial penalty prior to the second class meeting, provided that the change does not result in an increased or reduced class load. (Specific dates are available at However, a student can add up to four courses in a fall or spring term, and two courses in a summer term. (For more information, please see Credits Allowed per Semester.) No student may enroll in a class after the second meeting has occurred; however, a student may withdraw from a course without academic penalty at any time prior to its last scheduled meeting.

All add/drops can be made via AARC tab in Connection through the end date and time listed under "My Registration Priority"; for changes after the posted dates but prior to the second class, please contact Registration is binding, both financially and academically. The date on which the drop occurs determines the refund (if applicable) provided to the student or repayment status for students receiving financial aid.


Each new student is assigned a faculty adviser. Students are required to meet with their advisers prior to their first semester in attendance to outline a program of study. (Download LIS Program Planning Sheet) Periodic consultations with advisers are recommended.

Advisees may change advisors as their professional needs change in the program at any time during their academic experience. A "Change of Advisor" form can be obtained from the Student Services Center; the form must be signed by the student and the new faculty advisor, and returned to the Student Services Center.

Credits Allowed per Semester

Students who enter the program Fall 2005 and thereafter:

  • may register for no more than 12 credit hours during the fall or spring term. During the spring term, this total includes any short courses during March spring break;
  • may register for no more than 6 credit hours during the six-week summer session;
  • may register for no more than 3 credit hours during a short course week in any term.

Students who entered the program prior to Fall 2005 and are taking courses for four credits:

  • may register for no more than 16 credit hours during the fall or spring term. During the spring term, this total includes any short courses during March spring break;
  • may register for no more than 8 credit hours during the six-week summer session;
  • may register for no more than 4 credit hours during a short course week in any term.

Students in either the dual-degree programs of Archives Management/ History or Library Science/ Children's Literature should consult with their faculty advisor about exceptions.

Grading System

The following grades, with corresponding numerical valuations, are used to evaluate academic achievement:

  • A = 4.00
  • A- = 3.67
  • B+ =3.33
  • B = 3.00
  • B- = 2.67
  • C+ =2.33
  • C = 2.00
  • C- = 1.67
  • D+ =1.33
  • D = 1.00
  • D- = 0.67
  • F = 0.00

Grades will be posted to the student's AARC account at the end of the semester. Any errors or inquiries regarding grades should be referred to that office in person or by calling (617) 521-2111. Grades cannot be obtained from the SLIS administrative office at any time. If a grade is needed for reimbursement purposes prior to receipt of your official report, the instructor may be asked.


Students who become ill, have a medical emergency, a death in the immediate family, extreme hardship, or unusual circumstances may request an incomplete from the instructor. Students must be performing at a passing level to be considered. Forms must be filled out in consultation with the instructor and the Assistant Dean for Student Services must review it. If approval is granted, the incomplete must be finished by the end of the following semester.

Independent Study

Students taking LIS 500 or 601 must complete an Independent Study form. Please note, there are separate forms for master's and doctoral degree candidates. Doctoral candidates wishing to take an Independent Study should also download the document, "Independent Study Information for Doctoral Candidates."

Students using human subjects in research must get approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB). For more information and to download the appropriate forms, go to

Non-Degree Students

Those interested in auditing a course may apply to the School as a non-degree student. Normally, classes meet once a week for three hours during regular semesters, and twice a week during the summer session. The option to audit a course is available on a space-available, non-credit basis to SLIS and Simmons alumni for $400 per course, and to non-Simmons applicants for one half the prevailing tuition. The activity fee is required as well. Audits are non-refundable after the first class meeting. Please be advised that registration is binding both financially and academically and you will be billed for all course work based on the School's billing policy. Please continue reading for more specific non-degree student policies. If you are interested in being considered for non-degree coursework, please email the Admission Office with the term and program for which you wish to apply. That office will then send you the correct application.

Students planning to apply to SLIS (Pre-Matriculated): During the fall and spring terms, potential master's students may enroll in up to two courses. Please contact the Admission Office at or 617-521-2868 for specific details and admission requirements.

Simmons Employees: Current employees of Simmons College may enroll in up to 6 credits as a non-degree student.

Those who have earned their LIS degree: Simmons SLIS alumni or others who have earned their master's in LIS from an accredited institution are allowed to audit as many courses as they would like as long as there is space available. If credit is necessary, no more than 6 credits may be completed. The student may petition the Assistant Dean for Student Services if they require completion of more than 6 credits (e.g. those who already have their master's degree and are interested in completing SLTP or Archives certification).

Those interested in professional development but not the degree: Those who want to take a course for professional development and are not planning to apply to the master's degree program at a later date are allowed to enroll as an auditing student and will not receive a grade or credit. If the employer requires proof of earned grade or credit for tuition reimbursement, enrollment in no more than 6 credits will be allowed. Also, please see the SLIS continuing education workshops page for more options.

Students enrolled in another LIS program: Anyone currently enrolled in a different LIS program who wishes to transfer coursework to that program may enroll for no more than six credits. Audited courses do not transfer into any degree program, as no grade or credit is earned.

Petition to Graduate

Please see our Graduation Information page for additional information on graduation policies and procedures.

Students who have completed all degree requirements, from the previous graduations of August, January, and May, are invited to participate in the May Commencement Ceremony. Students in the dual-degree program of Archives Management/ History and have completed the courses in the Library and Information Science program may be conferred for graduation. Students in the Library Science/ Children's Literature program must complete all requirements in this dual-degree program in order to be conferred.

Student Grievance Procedure

A student with a grievance regarding a grade should first discuss the grievance with the instructor. If issues are not resolved, discuss the matter with the dean. The dean may consult with the instructor, but the final decision regarding a grade rests with the instructor.

Time Needed to Complete the Program

The minimum amount of time needed to complete the Master's degree program is four terms; students must complete the program within six years of initial enrollment.

Transfer of Credit

Under special circumstances, a student may receive credit for graduate work completed at another ALA accredited graduate institution, with approved exceptions. The School will accept credit for graduate work completed at another institution towards the Master of Science degree with the approval of Simmons-SLIS faculty. A student may petition to transfer up to six credits. Courses taken at the graduate level as part of an earned degree may not be considered for transfer of credit. You may contact Dr. Em Claire Knowles, Assistant Dean for Student Services by email, or by telephone at 617-521-2798 with questions not answered in this information sheet.

Please click here for the full petition procedure and for the petition form.

International Travel Courses

Students interested in taking an international travel course offered by a school other than Simmons SLIS should consult the approved list of international travel courses offered at ALA-accredited LIS programs. If the course is on the approved list, the student must complete the "Transfer of Credit" form, and submit it to the Assistant Dean for Student Services for processing. If the course is not on the approved list the student must consult with the Associate/Assistant Deans for approval. The approved list of courses and the Transfer of Credit Petition Form can be downloaded as a pdf. (Simmons SLIS travel courses often require an application; information is sent out to SLIS-Info when courses are available.)

Tuition Refund Policy

Dual Degree Archives and SLTP students should note that Education and History courses may have different starting and ending dates; therefore, the refund policies may also differ. Please contact the Registrar's Office (Room C210) for more information (617-521-2111).

For WISE (Online affiliate) Courses, there are some exceptions to the policies below. Information about those exceptions may be found within the WISE Guidelines.

Written notification of withdrawal is required before a refund can be granted. For purposes of calculating any refund, the date of withdrawal is the date written notification of withdrawal is received by the SLIS Registration ( Student Activity and other fees are nonrefundable. Any change from the approved registration must be submitted to the SLIS Office in writing. Nonattendance in a class or notification to the Student Accounts or Registrar's Office does not constitute a change. Financial aid recipients should discuss with a representative from the Financial Aid Office the impact of adding or dropping a course prior to submitting the official add/drop form. A student who wishes to cancel his/her approved registration but fails to notify SLIS Office (617-521-2800) of this cancellation by the deadlines indicated below, will be charged according to the refund policy whether he/she has paid or not.

Further information regarding the full term course refund policy is available at Short term and audited courses will be refunded 100% if dropped by the last business day prior to the start of class. There are no refunds after that point.


Students who enter the School with an acceptable background of graduate study in library and information studies from an ALA-accredited program may petition the faculty for a course waiver upon completion of 12 credits in addition to a transfer of credit. If there is no transfer of credit, a waiver may be requested to substitute an elective course from the library and information science curriculum for a required course. A waiver may only be requested if there is sufficient proof of the knowledge of the material covered in the required course to warrant such a waiver.

WISE (Online) Courses

At the May 2005 Faculty Meeting, the SLIS faculty officially voted to join the Web-based Information Science Education (WISE), a consortium made up of thirteen LIS schools, and thereby enabling SLIS students the opportunity to take online courses from other leading ALA-accredited programs.

Some policies for WISE courses are different from those that govern regular, on-site, SLIS courses. If you are considering enrolling in a WISE course, please review the WISE Guidelines for information and policies regarding these courses.

Withdrawal from School or Courses

A student may withdraw from a course without academic penalty at any time prior to its last scheduled meeting. Please see the Add/Drop policy above. A student who finds it necessary to withdraw or take a leave of absence from the School during the regular academic year or the summer session must send written notification indicating the reason for withdrawal to the Assistant Dean for Student Services. No withdrawal becomes official until such written notice has been received. Financial aid recipients must also consult a financial aid officer before withdrawal from a course(s), or the program.

Withdrawal from One Program in a Dual Degree Program


A student may withdraw from one program when enrolled in a dual degree program. In order to do so, the student must complete the below form and obtain all signatures. To ensure that all records are up to date, Simmons requires students to obtain the permission of both program directors involved in the dual degree. Students are also required to obtain the signature of the Student Financial Services office. Often changing from a dual degree program to a single degree program will result in a change of tuition and of credits required. Questions about this process should be directed to the Office of the Registrar at or 617-521-2111.